No. 22 Huskies Drop Pac-12 Opener To No. 1 Trojans
March 30, 2012
SEATTLE - The Husky men's tennis team was unable to hang the first loss on No. 1 USC today, as the Trojans scored a 7-0 victory at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in the Pac-12 opener for both teams. The 22nd-ranked Huskies (12-4, 0-1 Pac-12) were competitive on all courts, but the Trojans (20-0, 1-0 Pac-12) stepped up in the crucial moments to extend their winning streak to forty matches.
"They were the best team we played this year, combine that with certainly not our best performance, and that is a bad combination. It's a tough pill to swallow," said Head Coach Matt Anger. "If a player is a little more solid, (late in sets) is when he's ready to play. That's what's so disappointing, when I look at this. They were up on us all over the place, but there were certainly opportunities to be doing a heck of a lot better."
14th-ranked junior Kyle McMorrow was attempting to end another lengthy streak, that of second-ranked Trojan Steve Johnson, who had won 51 matches in a row dating back through an NCAA Singles title last spring. McMorrow broke serve to start the match, but after saving six break points in the next game, McMorrow dropped serve and Johnson took the first set, 6-3. Johnson was up two breaks at 3-0 in the second set, before McMorrow rallied and broke twice to even it at 3-3. But the momentum slipped away as McMorrow lost the following service game, and Johnson went on to finish off the match, 6-3.
At second singles, freshman Emmett Egger was serving at 4-all in the first set, but 23rd-ranked Ray Sarmiento broke in that ninth game and then held to take the set. He broke in the seventh game of the second set as well for a 6-4, 6-3 win. Junior Marton Bots also rallied from a break down in the first set against 13th-ranked Daniel Nguyen, evening things at 4-4, but Nguyen broke right back and went on to win, 6-4, 6-1, at third singles.
Sophomore Max Manthou lost a quick first set at fourth singles to 38th-ranked Yannick Hanfmann, but then made the adjustments to turn the tables and take the second set with a break in the tenth game. Manthou was serving at 4-4 in the third set, but played one loose service game at the wrong time, and Hanfmann broke then served it out for a 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 win, snapping a seven-match win streak for Manthou. At sixth singles, redshirt frosh Nicholas Kamisar was up 4-3 in the first set against Roberto Quiroz, but Quiroz won the final three games of the first set en route to a 6-4, 6-2 win.
Doubles was similarly played at a high level, but the Trojans made the late pushes. At No. 1 doubles, Egger and McMorrow faced the 15th-ranked tandem of Johnson and Quiroz. Neither duo surrendered serve all the way to 7-all, but USC broke through in its last chance, and then held for a 9-7 win that clinched the point. At third doubles, Bots and senior Matt Stith were down, 3-6, to Gomez and Hanfmann, but got a break back and were serving at 5-6, until USC earned another service break to get back in front and proceeded to serve out the 8-5 win.
Washington will have another big opportunity right around the corner, as fifth-ranked UCLA comes in tomorrow for a 1 p.m. match. The match will be part of a "blackout" promotion with fans encouraged to dress in all black.
Washington Men's Tennis
No. 1 USC 7, No. 22 Washington 0